Botswana

May 10th, 2011, 05:50 PM
  #1  
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Botswana

I am traveling with my husband ( we are 60 year olds) and our 27 year old daughter.
After seeing Cape town and driving the Garden route, we plan to go to Sabi Sands and spend 2 nights at Cheetah Plains . From there we plan to go to Botswana and spend two nights at Muchenje and then Kwando Lagoon for two nights.
Is this a good mix? Any suggestions to improve what we are doing so we get a good feel for the African safari and see as much wild life as possible.?
BUNCHEE315 is offline  
May 10th, 2011, 05:57 PM
  #2  
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I forgot to mention that we will be traveling the beginning of July.
BUNCHEE315 is offline  
May 10th, 2011, 06:13 PM
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Not a good mix. Sabi Sands isn't an easy destination to connect to Botswana. You will need to overnight in JNB. The transfers are also expensive given that it is a short stay.

Have a good time at Cape Town, Garden route etc etc., fly to JNB. Fly to Maun the next day.

Given 6 nights safari that you desire - go Kwando Lagoon for 4 nights (high chance of denning dogs that time of the year) and go to Muchenje for the 2 nights
HariS is offline  
May 10th, 2011, 06:48 PM
  #4  
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I am planning to fly form Cape Town to Krueger and then Kruger to Livingstone. I own't have to spend the night in Johannesburg.
Only problem I might have is that Muchenje might not be available Any suggestions?
BUNCHEE315 is offline  
May 10th, 2011, 07:29 PM
  #5  
 
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I'm with HariS. Either do the 6 nights in Botswana or just go to Sabi Sand, settle in, relax and enjoy the game-viewing in one of Africa's best safari destiantions. Otherwise you'll be seeing the inside of a lot of airports.
sdb2 is offline  
May 10th, 2011, 07:42 PM
  #6  
 
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"...African safari and see as much wild life as possible...
Why put you onto going to Botswana?
Skip Botswana, stay longer in Sabi Sand, other camps - MalaMala, Londolozi, Exeter, Dulini, Lion Sands, Leopard Hills, Kirkmans Kamp. The best African safaris are right there in Sabi Sand. And if you want the classic African savanna plains look and feel, go up to Kenya. From JNB fly to Nairobi and go to Governors or Little Governors camp. Fly home from Nairobi, been there and done that, loved it.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
May 10th, 2011, 07:50 PM
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Why Botswana over Sabi Sands ........ you don't have a 20 minute time limit at sightings (many sightings, if not all) for starters .......... Been to Sabi Sands myself, and most definitely won't be returning there ....

See if you can get 2 nights at any of the other Chobe lodges, if you want to be at the Chobe Waterfront. Highly recommend Kwando Lagoon for the time frame you are looking for which is July. A wild dog den(fingers crossed), and plenty more!!!
HariS is offline  
May 10th, 2011, 07:52 PM
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See if you can start at Kwando Lagoon and make your way to Muchenje.

If not, do Kwando Lagoon and Chitabe camp (availability permitting).
HariS is offline  
May 10th, 2011, 07:58 PM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSQjvvPmZFo

Check out the Youtube clip - although, from Kwando Lebala ...... this trio of brothers are mostly seen at Kwando Lagoon which is where the heart of their territory is!

Again, why Botswana .......... this clip along with part 2 in continuation took all day long to materialize! Something, which you stand no chance of witnessing in the Sabi Sands, as you move on after 20 minutes.
HariS is offline  
May 10th, 2011, 08:20 PM
  #10  
 
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Since your goal is to get a good feel for a safari see as much wildlife as possible, I agree with the other comments to choose either Botswana or Sabi Sands for your 6 nights of safari. If you were spending more than 6 nights, then a combination could work well.
atravelynn is offline  
May 10th, 2011, 09:17 PM
  #11  
 
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"..this clip along with part 2 in continuation took all day long to materialize!
And it's remarkable.
But, how many neophyte safari goers are willing to wait all day long -hoping- that three cheetahs will do something? And when they are at that camp for only two-three days.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
May 10th, 2011, 10:48 PM
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How many are willing to wait .......... it's upto the group ofcourse. You snooze, You lose!!! ...... I wasn't trying to suggest that they will see the cheetah boys hunt something down - my point was, they have the option to stay out at a sighting, should it hold some promise..... whatever it is! If the cheetah boys appear hungry and on the move - it makes sense to wait around.

Yes, and that's another point I was trying to make ...... meaningless to go for two nights!
HariS is offline  
May 10th, 2011, 11:21 PM
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And if you want to be the "boss" of the game drive you have to be the only guests in the vehicle. Are these folks willing to pay big extra for that? Probably not. As to having to leave a sighting after 20 minutes, I'd suggest that most neophytes are ready after (or even before) 20 mins to look for another of the big 5. I'll also admit that even for -me- 90% of the time 20 minutes is long enough.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
May 11th, 2011, 01:57 AM
  #14  
 
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Why should they pay extra? They certainly don't need to! Chat with the other vehicle mates that
"patience pays" ........ as said above, "it's upto the group ofcourse" ........

Won't be going round and round in circles - will respond further if there is some meaningful info i can provide.
HariS is offline  
May 11th, 2011, 03:58 AM
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Having not been to Sabi Sands, can't comment on how it compares to Botswana camps, nor on the 20 minute "rule".

However, I do agree 100% with the others - if you have less than a week set aside for safari viewing but want to maximise your game viewing, trying to fit in two countries is not wise - you will lose a LOT more time than you think to travelling.

I love Botswana, and would suggest choosing 2 camps for 3 nights each over 3 camps for 2 nights each. This again because that you'll often lose one of your two daily game drives (either morning or afternoon) each time you switch camp, not to mention time wasted packing and unpacking, even if you try and live out of the bags as much as possible.

The other option is to try 4 nights at one camp and 2 at another, especially if you'd like to also see the wet side of the Okavango Delta (assuming you are travelling at right time). In that case, you could do 2 nights at a water camp (I particularly loved Jacana for water camp, back in 2004, am sure it's not changed much, as don't think this one has been expanded or upgraded to OTT luxe). And then the other 4 nights at a camp offering land-based activities.

Or, you could swap that, do 4 nights at a camp like Tubu Tree (another of my absolute favourites) which offers both land and water activities (in season), so you can do just one or two water activities and rest on land, as you prefer. And then another land camp for 2 nights.

In any case, I would definitely try and organise your time so you have 6 full nights on safari, which is only 5 days in any case, and split that between 2 camps maximim, to reduce travel time.

For more advice on specific camp choices, would be good to know a budget and also any specific animals/ birds you would like to see.
Kavey is offline  
May 11th, 2011, 11:01 AM
  #16  
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I am interested in seeing the big 5 of course and whatever else may come along.
So now what about Cheetah Plains and Naledi Bush Camp- 3 days each ?
And then maybe 2 days in Tuli Safari Lodge ? Have you heard of that in Botswana border?
( not too much traveling time)
BUNCHEE315 is offline  
May 11th, 2011, 12:06 PM
  #17  
 
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I have been to Tuli before (last in December 2008). It is a productive game viewing area. There are no buffalo or rhino there but it is huge and wide open spaces and very far off the beaten path. Good elephants and some lion and leopards every day on my last visit.

Back to the original plan: if you go to Cheetah Plains for two nights AND plan on flying Kruger to Livingstone you need to ask your agent to give you some honest logistical advice. The flight from "Kruger" to Livingstone actually leaves from Nelspruit/MQP which is almost 2.5 hours from Cheetah Plains. It takes off around 1100am and it is an international so you need to be there at the airport 2 hours early. This means you leave the lodge at 0630 am AT THE LATEST. There will be no game drive in the morning and no partial refund. You will go all the way to the Kruger for three games drives of 3-4 hours in length. I have been to Cheetah Plains and it is a nice budget safari lodge. Once of the least expensive in the Sabi Sands.

I would absolutely not go to Naledi and Cheetah Plains. There is not diversity as these lodges are about 20 miles apart. If you want another lodge in the Kruger Ecosystem at least go to the Timbavati or a private concession in the park like Pafuri.

It sounds like you are consulting with some agent or some guide book that does not know much about Africa.

Craig Beal – owner – Travel Beyond
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